Great, you have an interview… now what?
How much do you know about the charity or organisation you are interviewing for? It should be plenty, and much of the information you need is available online. Here are tips on how to research, get the inside scoop on the culture, and use your connections to gain an interview advantage.
Visit the Charity Website
Visit the charity website, review their mission statement and history, services and management, as well as information about their culture. The information is usually available in the About Us section of the site.
Use Social Media
Check Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Like or follow the charity to get updates. You’ll find information you may not have found otherwise. LinkedIn company profiles are a good way to find, at a glance, more information on the charity you’re interested in. You’ll be able see your connections at the charity, new hires, promotions, jobs posted, related charities, and statistics. Take a look at your interviewer’s profile for insight into their job and their background.
Google and Google News
Search both Google and Google News for the charity name. You can also set up alerts to receive a notification when they are mentioned in the news.
You may be asked to take originals and photocopies of your professional qualifications and/or your original passport or birth certificate to confirm you have the right to live and work in the UK. Failure to take the required documents with you to interview may give the impression that you are disorganised or unable to follow instructions.
If you are asked to prepare a presentation as part of your interview, we would suggest you forward a copy of this to us prior to your interview to enable us to forward to the panel. Technology doesn’t always work the way we want it to so please ensure you take a hard copy of your presentation with you just in case your pen drive or memory stick doesn’t work on the day.
On the day
Plan your route, allowing extra time for any unexpected delays. Arrive early for your interview (but not too early) -we suggest 10 minutes before your interview is due to start. It does not do any harm to do a test journey to the interview location in advance. Remember traffic varies at different times of the day and car parks can be full at peak times. Have change with you in case you have to park on a meter. If you are too early you can always go for a coffee and look over your notes.
Whilst you may anticipate your interview taking no more than an hour, on occasion, they do run over the time allocated which may result in your interview time being delayed.
Dress to Impress
If your appearance is neat and clean, you will give the impression of being someone who is organised and pays attention to detail.
Whether you are asked to meet the charity for an informal chat over a coffee or attend a formal panel interview, first impressions are very important! We would recommend you always dress smartly when meeting your potential new employers.
No one has ever not been offered a job for being too smartly dressed!!
You should always have some questions for your interviewer to demonstrate your interest in the position. We recommend you prepare a minimum of three questions, some of which will give you more information about the job and some which delve deeper into the culture and goals of the charity.
Do not ask questions about time off/holidays at interview as this can show a lack of commitment if you are already thinking about how short you can make the working week. If you need flexible working for an issue like childcare please discuss this with the recruiter at application stage as they can on your behalf before the interview.
Flexible working is not always appropriate to a role or charity and employers do not like to find the perfect candidate only to then be forced into negotiations on hours.
Finally, everyone at Charity Careers Scotland wishes you the best of luck!